PATERSON, NJ - On Wednesday night the The New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) Neighborhood Help Center hosted a Nutritional Holiday Cooking event with Celebrity Chef Angie Shaghaghi. Attendees were treated to a cooking class and delicious samples prepared by the chef.

With food so much a part of the season, and often not in a healthy form, the program was timed to coincide with the holidays. NJCDC Program Coordinator Aida Restituyo said “we are glad to have Chef Angie come back each year to help give back to the community.”

One of the youngest attendees, Milan Shepherd, nine years old, loves cooking and has been at Chef Angie’s demonstration each year. She was eager to help with this year’s recipes, and ably assisted the chef with preparing the meal. She was excited to expand her healthy food knowledge. “I learned that a tomato is a fruit. I thought it was a vegetable,” said Milan.

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Chef Angie is the founder and owner of Creative Cooks, a company that provides after-school programs, cooking classes for children and adults, catering, private cooking demos and “everything related to food!”

Her journey began 12 years ago as a concept when, as a newly single mom, she decided to take her lifelong passion for cooking and combine it with her education and background in education and management, launching a business from her home in Wyckoff. The idea has taken off, and Creative Cooks has moved far beyond just cooking classes for kids. She has been featured on the Food Network’s “Chopped”, Rachel Ray’s “Hey You Can Cook All Stars”, and other national television spots. Her work has made Chef Angie nationally known.

After teaching the attendees about superfoods and other healthy cooking tips, Chef Angie emphasized the key to success in healthy eating. “You have to set yourself up to make something delicious, If you just make something healthy and it doesn’t taste good you’ll be reaching for a cheeseburger afterward.”